The Witcher 3 is a masterpiece of world-building… and of fucking the customer in the ass (without them realizing it)
Note by me after beating the game: There IS a game behind the bugs. And it’s not even that great!
“Almost every story can be gently nudged in a new direction, too, and it’s endlessly fascinating to see the ramifications of your words and actions ripple out across the land. What’s especially interesting is the subtlety at play. The choices you make aren’t often the heavy-handed, telegraphed conundrums of, say, Fable; sometimes a simple turn of phrase in a conversation tree can unwittingly send the dominoes falling.
You might make a new friend or a life-long enemy – and, sometimes, it’s not readily apparent that you’ve had any effect at all. Even the more obvious choices you’re presented with – would you care to rescue this man from a burning building, sir, or free this dark spirit trapped beneath the earth? – can splinter the game’s quest structure into strange new pieces that snap back to reveal unexpectedly ambiguous conclusions.
Ambiguity and the messiness of human life. Games have already proven that they can build and populate open worlds, even worlds as majestic and romantic and wild as this one. But this stuff is a reminder that the Witcher 3 is trying to do something different. It is trying to make an open world feel convincingly inhabited, to give it the warp and weft of narrative history. That’s a pretty interesting quest, and CD Projekt is a pretty interesting adventurer, beating a path into strange and bewitching new places. The result is that this Polish studio’s first open world is one of the greatest we’ve ever seen.”